Could You Go Without Your Computer For A Day?


logoAn online experiment is taking place titled Shut Down Day.  The intent behind the web site is to have you shutdown and not use your computer for an entire day.  I was skeptical, because like many web workers, I depend on my computer daily to make a living.  However the organizers wisely chose a Saturday.

I plan on participating by shutting not only turning my computer off, but my cell phone as well.  My work/life balance will most likely be vastly improved as a result.

Could you do without your computer for a day?  What other devices would be hard for you to go without?

Perhaps with the trend to always be connected and ‘in the loop’, these occasional days where we are encouraged to shut everything the world off can be very beneficial.


Samir Talwar

I did this yesterday… well, up to 11:30pm, so I was close. Combination of waking up at a house party with a hangover and going out in the evening.

Who says techies can’t have fun? :D

Oh, and as a side note, if I turned off my mobile phone, my life would come crashing down. It’s my main organisational tool – wouldn’t be in the pub nearly as much without it.

Mark LaCore

Not if I want to work. I am a systems engineer.

I have to travel far to get away from my computers and work. The last time I went a day with no computer was on my honeymoon. There was no wireless in our room! :)


This is another silly “Blame the Technology’ gimmicks. If your work/life balance is screwed up, it’s not because you have a computer. I can think of plenty relaxing, enjoyable things I do in front of my computer. And plenty of ways I could screw up my work/life balance without one.

John B

Shut Down Day? This ranks right up there with “Gas Boycott Day.” Retard, useless and ultimately futile. You want to improve your life? Shut down a little every day.

Adam Lindsay

Define computer. Laptop, iPhone, my automobiles ecu? How about all the servers I run for my clients?

Don’t get me wrong its a good cause, and I take it to mean laptop/desktop. But my iPhone will still have me checking email, taking calls, so have I really stepped away?

If you truly want to make it interesting. Go over to your panel box in your house, and cut power for 24hrs. :)

Jake R

Cellphones are vital to life in today’s world. Or are they? Ten years ago, pagers were the rage, now it’s cellphones and it seems like everyone has one. I often catch myself asking my wife “what did we ever do without cellphones?” They’ve made life safer and easier.

So, I couldn’t live without my cellphone for a day. My computer – it would be very tough, but I’ll give it a shot on 05/03/08.


A Saturday without a computer I could do standing on my head. The real challenge for me would be to have this day fall in the middle of the conventional workweek, say a Tuesday or Wednesday. Now that would be bloody tough.

I’m looking forward to my next vacation, during which my laptop will stay at home for an entire week. Vacations are the only times when my carpal tunnel syndrome wanes and I can feel things properly. . . .


Every weekend I actually shut my computer down on Sat night and don’t turn it back on till Monday morning @ 6:30. I find Sundays are the only day I can take a day off. It took a bit of getting used but now it’s feels good to not worry about email, IM & skype for one day.


I think it’s a great idea. I schedule for myself a biweekly no-computer day and though I always dread it, I’m also always glad to have done it.

Sheldon Chang

I’ve had an email account since 1986 and built my first website for NCSA Mosaic. I’ve been well wired for most of the years since my 12th birthday. There was a time when I really would have had to be tied down to keep from booting up the ol’ CPU, but years of long hours behind the keyboard have caught up to me in mind and physically as well. I have a chronic aching wrist and my mind is so full of PHP code that I’ve lost the touch with English composition that I worked so hard for years to cultivate. I miss getting outdoors and enjoying a hike in the woods.

On some days, I have to turn off my email program for long stretches because the sound of new mail has started to make me nervous. Who is it now and what do they want? There is a growing list of people I’ve lost touch with that I want to be in touch with. That pinging new email sound is surely not one of them. It’s probably some random person I met recently who figures I’d be a great Facebook connection for him or her.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love my computer. I love what I do. My world is shaped by it and I in effect have been shaping my world with it for most of my life. I just find the question of if I could live without for a day to be an absurd ponderance. After being wired for over two decades I see it for what it is. It is not magic, not a salve, and not a replacement for real connections to reality. It is a fantastic tool and a gift that has passed through the hands of Faust.


I can totally relate to that – I have a web-enabled phone, I carry my Asus Eee PC laptop and 3G USB modem *everywhere* with me, plus home computer, and obviously computer at work. I’m only disconnected from the web (and therefore computers, as I work on the web) while I’m asleep and about 2 hours while awake :-)


I’m doing it now while on vacation. It’s difficult, but worthwhile to reaffirm that I’m a human, not a node…

Amie Gillingham

Can’t do it–Saturday is one of our biggest new-member sign up days and turning off my computer would mean that my customers would be left in the lurch. That being said, I’ll try to limit my computer time purely to work that day and not spend my leisure time reading my feeds, catching up with friends online, etc.

Ontario Emperor

No computer and no phone? Lessee…in addition to the aforementioned acoustic guitar, you’d need paper maps, postage stamps, and all sorts of strange things.


My desktop computer is also my TV, DVD player, and stereo, so going without it for a day would be a little tough (unless I just left the house entirely).

I backpack frequently (sometimes for 5+ days at a time), and during those times the only gadget I take along is a little Creative Zen Nano to listen to music. I’d be perfectly happy without it, though. Going gadget-less is more a relief than a chore.

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